Neurological disorders and the structure of human consciousness
Recent studies that identify distinct neural correlates of perceptual awareness offer a promising step towards improved understanding of the neurological underpinnings of conscious experience. Such studies indicate that perceptual awareness is modular in nature, with neural correlates of awareness consisting of the specialized structures involved in perceptual processing. However, the integrative, multimodal nature of conscious experience appears to require a functional architecture that overcomes this modular segregation of function. We propose a model in which experience emerges from the dynamic interactions of specialized component processes via a distributed neural network. Such a model offers a mechanism to explain several empirical observations of the neural correlates of perceptual awareness, cognitive function, and symptoms of neurological damage.
Cooney, JW; Gazzaniga, MS
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